"Mobile Bay is Alabama's central estuary system and provides a transitional zone, where the river's freshwater meets tidally influenced marine waters." Image and caption credit:MobileBayKeeper.org
A most painful demonstration of Murphy's Law - that which can go wrong will go wrong in a emergency - is holding true across the Gulf. The Alabama Press-Register is reporting,for example, that "Strong currents have knocked down some of the 50-foot-long wood piling set under water to anchor boom across the Mobile Bay,...Gov. Bob Riley said contractors will now try ocean-grade boom, which hangs down 6 feet from the surface instead of the normal 2 feet, attaching it with 2,000-pound anchors." This example illustrates why "worst case" assumptions must be included in government-required environmental impact assessments of offshore oil development. Industry always argues for the' best case' and the "average" case environmental conditions; but demonstrably it is the worst that people often must live with in a real catastrophe.